rossy 2023

First, I’ll get the rant out of the way. I’ve spent more time working with younger bands this year and there seem to be a few issues… 

Firstly, there are so many new young bands that they can’t find gigs… especially appropriate ones. The King Street strip in Sydney’s Newtown and surrounds has about eight venues and on any given night there are only up to 50 people in each room. 

The problem is that some venues can’t keep their doors open with low turnout. Conversely, the acts make no money. On top of that, there doesn’t seem to be enough time spent on marketing an events… making the turnout low. The bookers don’t seem to care about numbers broadly… they seem to favour quantity over quality. The practice of milking young bands and their friends with “beauty contest” band comps doesn’t do anyone any favours either. 

There are plenty of young bands worth seeing… Sundryver, Polly, Reddshiftt, Rehab Doll and my guys, Pocketwatch, to name a few… but without support, good quality mentoring from older acts and professionals, the next generation may wither on the vine.

Top Ten:

    I was lucky enough to share a family holiday in Japan with my old pals, the Psychotic Turnbuckles.The Buckles laid waste to the Land of the Rising Sun and expanded on their impressive collection of title belts. If you get a chance get over to the Halloween Ball in Shinjuku. It is a once in a lifetime experience.

    The young fellas from the suburbs went from strength to strength this year, releasing a debut EP, “It’s Time”, at the Marrickville Bowlo, played three days on the main stage at the Metro, released a few video clips and continued their trajectory. It’s fun to work with youngsters with a work ethic and enthusiasm.

  • THE LEMON TWIGS: My favourite gig of the year at the Manning Bar. The D’Addario brothers have refined their melodic pop sound into a highly polished power pop. I have not heard a band with vocals and harmonies of that quality in all my years. 

    I was in attendance at the Petersham Bowlo when Chris Klondike Masuak convened a Masterclass, not just on his playing, but his outlook on tone, style, professional approach and other nuanced subjects. It was utterly illuminating and riveting. I even picked up a couple of tips!

the fadeawaysToyozo and Assman of The Fadeaways.

    Out of the dozens of bands I saw in Japan, there was one stand out… The FadeawaysToyoand the boys are committed, stylish and dynamite. They rip and tear and even Godzilla fears them. A band not to be missed when they visit Australia in 2024.

    One of the hardest working US bands in recent years popped over here and won a fair few fans. Their gig at The Duke in Sydney was packed and sensational. They even supported themselves when they came back on for a set as Jenzig, a Danzig cover band, and nailed that set too. 

  • THE ON AND ONS:Australia’s number-one power pop band just get better and better. Now with an added keyboard player John Hoey, ex-Died Pretty, they sound fatter and release more material than any other band on the planet. Making the Top Ten on Little Steven’sUndergound Garage was completely deserved.

starcrazy homabStarcrazy in Sydney.

  • STARCRAZY:Another personal favourite. I can’t understand why they aren’t big already… These guys are a cut above the rest and deserve to be playing bigger stages.

  • THE DARK CLOUDS:Our pals from the Gong have continued to work their rings out this year and there is no more consistently great band. New drummer Scotty has unlocked a new found power in the band.

  • JUPITER 5:A self serving plug… the band has been putting the final touches on a slate of new material which will be released in the first half of 2024.